Tuesday, February 07, 2012

art, craft, design and the unconscious...

I have joined a short-term study group on Carl Jung, based on his Red Book which was published posthumously in 2009. The Red Book was his own labor on the exploration of his own unconscious mind and its intersections with what Jung perceived to be a "collective unconscious." The Red Book is filled with Jung's small paintings and careful calligraphy, and is as much a work of hand as of mind. In fact, it could be said that Jung was very much engaged in the development of skill. He kept grounded in his own thoughts by doing skilled labor, including stone masonry. He lived at a time in which the integration between hand and mind in the formulation of character and intellect was unquestioned.

One of the assignments in my study group is to keep a dream journal, and write down dreams that I remember. Jung had believed that lucid dreaming was a direct link to the unconscious, and I wonder how many other woodworkers use lucid dreaming as a tool in design? Visualize it then make it, and see how things turn out.

One of the things I will do when I am in a semi-dream state, is to explore how things go together, and use lucid dreaming to explore the various design elements that can make things interesting and make a particular design engaging to others.

So, after a bit of lucid dreaming earlier in the week I have a new series of boxes to make, as I explore what I witnessed in my own thoughts. The boxes in the photo above are the start of that play. I will share more of the dream later as the lids that are formed to complete these boxes.

It was believed by native Americans including the Sioux  that we gain personal power by making manifest what we had observed in dream state. Can this be true? Regardless, we all gain in power by making things that emerge from our own consciousness or unconsciousness that express useful beauty.

On an only slightly related subject, some of you may have seen the T-Mobile advertisement using a toddler and iPhone. The ad suggests that we should be glad to have unlimited plans.... The foolishness is that too many will believe what the advertisement suggests, and buy into the nonsense that putting such devices in the hands of kids should be without restrictions and that the technology might even be good for them.

My article in Fine Woodworking on making glass doors came out this week, and if you are not a subscriber, copies can be found in a variety of places including Lowe's, Home Depot and Barnes and Noble.

Make, fix can create...

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